Drea managed to keep her calm resolve for a moment after the police officers drove away, then it crumbled to nothing.
“Why is someone doing this to us? What have we done to deserve this?”
“Nothing, love. It’s not for what we’ve done, but for what we are.”
“We’re people. Just like anyone else,” she said with a sniffle.
“No, we’re not, boss,” Margo said as she walked out of the kitchen. “Except for Tommy, none of us is normal.”
“I thought that for once we’d managed to find our niche,” Drea said, wiping her eyes. “I thought that for once we’d shown the world we aren’t dangerous.”
“Darling, there will always be those who hunt us simply because we’re different.”
“But we don’t hurt anyone! With all the modern advances, we don’t even need to feed on humans unless it’s consensual. With our medicine, we can control the blood lust. It’s simply not fair!”
“Life isn’t fair, Drea,” Margo said with a tone of concern. “You, of all of us, should know that the best. Your life was taken from you long ago, snatched away by a monster. The rest of us, we agreed. You didn’t turn Kirk against his will, nor me either. It was what we wanted. I would have died without you. The disease that was eating away at my body, my soul, was cured when you turned me. You and Kirk can be together forever. And if Tommy ever decides this is the existence he wants, then I’ll turn him too. But only if he wants it. In the meantime, we have one another.”
“We have to tell the Council,” Kirk said quietly. “Phillida has to know.”
“You’re right,” Drea said. “We’ll go tonight.”
“I’ll come too,” Margo said. “Phillida always liked me better than you.”
“Can I come?” Tommy asked innocently.
“No!” Margo said rather more loudly than intended. “No, my sweet darling. Phillida isn’t like the rest of us. She refuses to take the medicine. She feeds from artificial blood, mostly. But sometimes, if the blood lust is strong, she takes – brutally – efficiently. I would not lose you to one such as she. For you are my own, my heart.” She stroked his cheek gently. “For your safety, you’ll stay home.”
Tommy’s kiss was as ardent as it was innocent. “As you wish, my love.”
“In the meantime,” Drea said, wiping her eyes. “We have work to do.” She and Margo walked into the kitchen, discussing the jobs of the day.
“That we do,” Kirk said absently. He flipped open his cellphone.
“Who you calling, boss?”
“Jay’s daughter. Maybe she can shed some light on why her father was murdered. If not, I intend to find out. If he was killed because of us, I want to be the instrument of that justice.”
“Should you really get involved? I mean, if it’s because of you, don’t you think you will just make things worse?”
“I don’t know, Tom. But one thing I’ve learned, sometimes a man has to make things worse before he can make them better.”
Tommy shrugged, spreading his hands. “What do I know? Maybe you’re right. I don’t want to see anyone else hurt, that’s all.”
“Me either.” He dialed his phone, waiting for an answer. “That’s the last thing that I want.” He waited a moment for someone to answer, then walked a few paces away from Tommy.